Long, Long Ago
by Elmer Ake

      When day is done and evening falls
                And shadows walk across the walls,
                The silence is broken when the night bird calls
                And wakens thoughts of long ago.
                I remember ones that I loved so,
                "Dear God, why did they have to go"?

                I remember dusty country roads,
                The horses that pulled the heavy loads,
                The sound of cattle in the barn,
                The dog that barks out the alarm
                Of distant voices over the hill.
                "Why God, are they forever still?

                The supper is over, the dishes are done.
                The folks come out, one by one.
                I can see their dear faces now
                As they sit and discuss how
                When tomorrow it's time for me to leave,
                How in their sorrow they will grieve.

               A thousand times I've lived that scene
               And every night when I dream,
               I hear each voice, I see each face
               In that long ago place
               I remember every tear in every eye
               When they whispered their last good-bye.

              When your country calls and you must go
              It means leaving ones that love you so.
              Your body might be far away
              But your thoughts go home everyday.
              If I could return but one more time
              And see the ones I left behind.

             I see lines of men upon the road
             Sweating beneath their heavy load.
             Up ahead the sound of shot and shell
             As we move up into hell.
             I see their faces as they fall
             As shadows walk across the wall.

             The years go by, I'm old and gray
             But memories don't go away.
             I close my eyes and I can see
             The ones who waved good bye to me.
             And from the past their voices call
             When shadows walk across the walls.

        TheLonely Grave

      One day I walked a country lane
      A dusty place that had no name
      The only sound the hum of bees
      Birds chirping in the trees
      A place that only god would know
      A place that very few would go.

      Beneath an old tree I found a seat
      Then i noticed something at my feet
      With a stick I scraped away the grass
      And found the grave of a young lass
      Why she was laid here so long ago
      Is something we will never know.

      I know beneath this weathered stone
      There lays a girl who's name was Joan
      What deprived her of her young life?
      Was it an arrow or a knife?
      Or perhaps it was childbirth
      That laid her here beneath the earth.

      This girl who is sleeping here
      Was only in her eighteenth year
      Was she pretty, or was she plain?
      Perhaps she was with a wagon train
      And the ones who lay her here to rest
      Packed up the wagons and headed west.

      Did her loved ones say a prayer to god?
      When they lay her beneath the sod
      Did a tear drop fall upon her grave?
      Did the last wagon pause to wave?
      Did no one ever stop to see?
      This lonely grave on the prairie.

      Dear girl all the years that you been here
      Did no one stop and shed a tear?
      In the winter snow or summer rain
      Did your loved ones ever return again?
      Did no one remember you my sweet?
      And place a flower at you feet.

      Oh I am sure Joan my dear
      That God knows you are here
      You know that he has not forgot
      For he led me to this spot
      Its lonely souls that draws his love
      Until we meet up above.

      Now the evening sun is dropping low
      And it is time for me to go.
      I know my dear your not alone
      For as I turned to head for home
      I took one more look up in the sky
      And saw an angel wave good bye.

      Now the wagons and the pioneers
      Have all been gone these many years.
      As they made their way to the west
      Each night as they lay down to rest.
      Did they ask God, please watch and save
      The girl that sleeps in the lonely grave.

      Elmer Ake


            Copyright © 1998-2007 by Elmer Ake.  All rights reserved.

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